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    No Straight Lines: participatory reading

    We now have an open access participatory reading platform for No Straight Lines So here is an open invitation to swing by and have a look at No Straight Lines:  It looks at how we can build better more sustainable societies, organisations and vibrant economies through innovative practice. It argues we ... read on »

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    The challenge of living in a non-linear world [2]

    This is the second part of a general introduction to the book and project No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world The opportunity and the design challenge Which brings me on to the title and the challenge of this project. Be realistic, imagine the impossible is taken from a poster ... read on »

A Website and Weblog about Topics and Issues discussed in the book
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

Easy Interface for Internet of Things
April 22nd, 2014

Amid a wide range of new platforms to manage streams of data from the Internet of things, a simple version emerges that anyone can use. Read David Talbot’s report on MIT’s Technology Review

With a new service called Freeboard, Bug Labs is giving people a simple one-click way to publish data from a “thing” to its own Web page (Bug Labs calls this “dweeting”). To get a sense of this, visit Dweet.io with your computer or mobile phone, click “try it now,” and you’ll see raw data from your device itself: its GPS coordinates and even the position of your computer mouse. The data is now on a public Web page and available for analysis and aggregation; another click stops this sharing.

Car As Platform
April 22nd, 2014

LTE Will Let Your Car’s Computer Update Like Your Smartphone. Think about it: The average person hangs onto a car for about 11 years. The average lifespan of a computer or tablet or smartphone is, what, three at the high end? So that super-slick infotainment setup in the center console is gonna feel pretty dated long before you’re ready to trade up for a new set of wheels. But what if the carmaker could push updates to the system anytime they wanted? We’re not there just yet, but it’s an intriguing idea.

[Watch this video on YouTube]

This year at the New York Auto Show, Chevrolet rolled out LTE features on several of its new models, including the Traxx SUV. For the time being, the system’s applications are fairly simple. There are apps like iHeartRadio and The Weather Channel, and the car can also serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.

Media and Civil Society in Syria’s Evolving Conflict
April 22nd, 2014

The conflict in Syria is being presented to the international community through a complex mix of state, opposition, international and local media sources. Individuals and NGOs in Syria have also effectively used social media to show the world the horrors of the conflict. As the crisis has evolved, so too have the ways in which activists have deployed the media available to them.

Join the conversation of New America online on the evolution of media throughout the conflict using #MediaInSyria and following @NatSecNAF

Obama’s review of the RSA
April 22nd, 2014

President Obama delivered a speech at the Department of Justice to announce the outcomes of a broad-ranging and unprecedented review of U.S. intelligence programs.

[Also read 1) The Fight Against Big, Bad Data 2) Big Data and the Future of Privacy]

The review examined how, in light of new and changing technologies, we can use our intelligence capabilities in a way that optimally protects our national security while supporting our foreign policy, respecting privacy and civil liberties, maintaining the public trust, and reducing the risk of unauthorized disclosures.

Additionally, President Obama issued a new presidential policy directive for our signals intelligence activities, at home and abroad. This directive lays out new principles that govern how we conduct signals intelligence collection, and strengthens how we provide executive branch oversight of our signals intelligence activities.

Watch the speech below, or see this White House fact sheet to learn more.

Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts – NYTimes.com
At the same time The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission.

300 word summary of what we need to know about economics
April 22nd, 2014

In 2011, Thomas Sargent won the Nobel prize in economics. But in 2007, he gave a graduation speech to Berkeley undergraduates that still stands as one of the greatest, shortest introductions to economics — and to life.

Define generations by the tech they use
April 21st, 2014

Recently, The Fine Bros published a video in their series titled Kids React where they presented members of Generation Z, in this case 6 to 14 year olds. The idea behind these videos isn’t new: children will always be blissfully unaware of the lives their parents or grandparents lived before them. In the Kids React video, one of the little girl stares at the walkman and cassette tape and says “Are these like in the movies?” Here is a girl who has obviously been shown 80s movies. No beautiful plot line or enduring tale can overcome a clunky piece of outdated technology. Within the Millennial generation, for example, we can see this happening with SMS text messaging. The first text message was sent in 1992, but commercial growth was slow. Millennials at the top of the generation may not have had text messaging until late in high school. For Millennials in the middle, text messaging was the primary form of communication.

Switched Off — 2020 Episode 1- Future or Fiction?
April 21st, 2014

Welcome to Republic of South Sylvania. Mobile and cloud based technology influence every interaction citizens make. See what happens when the most technologically advanced country in the world is hacked in the premier episode of 2020.

Learn more about the Republic of South Sylvania here and many more micro trend videos,

Messaging Is A Winner
April 20th, 2014

We use multiple messengers because they reflect our diverse social circles, our various personas, and the variety of content we publish. We use multiple messengers because they reflect our diverse social circles, our various personas, and the variety of content we publish.

In other words, each messaging app represents a different circle of friends.Just as it’s very easy to get started with a messaging app, it’s really easy to stop using an app or switch to another one. Since user loyalty is low – as soon as you stop receiving messages from your friends, you stop using the app. That’s why messengers are enticing users with services such as voice, video, games, content, and browsing.

Source: TechCrunch Anamitra Banerji @anamitra

Social gaming industry
April 20th, 2014

The social gaming industry is booming. Staggeringly, it is the fastest growing segment of entertainment, engaging hundreds of millions of people from around the world daily. With this ever expanding community of players, game makers have an unprecedented opportunity — a responsibility, some would say — to do more to cultivate social games as a platform for social good.

[read more of Ken Weber's report on Huffingtonpost]

Now is the time for the gaming industry to embrace a new kind of corporate social responsibility — one that leverages its core products and employee talents to create and deliver meaningful social impact. Making games a place where people more frequently connect with and invest in each other is a natural extension of what great games do, and it should be a natural extension of what great game companies do too.

Challenges for Wearables
April 20th, 2014

About wearable health device companies like FuelBand, FitBit, Jawbone Up and the marketing challenge of habit formation.

If wearable makers like Nike and Google really believes these devices are the future (Ben Parr says, I do), then they need to focus on turning these devices into habits first. Until that happens, wearables will remain in the niche.

[Motivation, habit formation and the mechanics of human rewards are all subjects I cover in my upcoming book, Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention (HarperOne, early 2015). I’m going to write a follow-up on how we can turn wearables into popular habits, but I hope you’ll sign up for updates on the book at Captivology.com or follow @Captivology as well.]

(P.S. — I’ll give you a hint: the reason we wear watches and wedding rings isn’t because they’re habits. We have far more intrinsic motivations for wearing them.)’

Previous features

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    Song Mob

    This video is making the rounds on blogs and email forwards. Can you think of anything smarter for a mob to be doing? read on »

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    Feature: From me to WE, An Interview with Judy Breck

    Resident SmartMobs blogger Judy Breck recently shared the following in an interview with we_magazine: “everything begins with the smallest unit, the individual. Like microlearning: ideas, meaning, and appropriate political action networks emerge as the patterning of micro nodes. Individual sovereignty is totally unaffected by your color, the slant of your eyes, ... read on »